According to BofA Merrill Lynch’s November Global Fund Manager Survey, a majority of investors believe the global economy is half-way from the last recession to the next one.
“With respect to the economic cycle, an overwhelming 54% of investors think the global economy is in mid-cycle,” write BAML strategists in a note to clients. “Only 1% thinks we are currently in recession.”
The remaining 45% are split pretty evenly between “early cycle” and “late cycle.”
The chart below shows fund managers’ monthly views on where the global economy is in the business cycle going back to 2004.
A key inflection in views seems to have occurred in the summer of 2012, when European Central Bank president Mario Draghi reassured market participants that the ECB would do “whatever it takes to save the euro,” and just before the Federal Reserve launched its third round of quantitative easing.
That’s when the percentage of fund managers perceiving the global economy as in a “late cycle” stage began falling, and the percentage of fund managers perceiving the global economy as in a “mid cycle” stage began rising.